Marble (Bowling Ball) Stratocaster (1984)

Model info: Essentially a 1984 2nd version Standard Stratocaser with the special marble, or, as it came to be known, bowling ball finish.

There were actually three different marble swirl styles: one that is predominantly red, one that is predominantly blue, and one that is a predominantly gold. Only 250 of these guitars were made: 108 in the red-black-white swirl; 105 in the blue-black-yellow swirl; and, 37 in the gold-silver-white swirl. 50 Telecasters using these finishes were also produced: 21 red, 21 blue, and 8 gold. The man behind the marble finish was Darren Johansen, an outside vendor who developed the process and showed it to Fender. By the time the initial 300 instruments were made, Fender-CBS was in the process of becoming Fender-FMIC and further use of the finish wasn’t pursued.

Photos: Top: blue-black-yellow swirl; bottom: the rare gold-silver-white swirl.

1954 Stratocaster - Strat Collector News